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Why Your AC Unit is Leaking Water and What to Do

Why Your AC Unit is Leaking Water and What to Do

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ac unit - Why Your AC Unit is Leaking Water and What to Do - technician repairing air conditioner

Is your Air Conditioning Unit leaking water, and you’re wondering what could be causing the issue? While a leaky Air Conditioner is a common issue for many homeowners during the cooling season, understanding the reasons behind it is essential for preventing potential damage and keeping your system running smoothly.

Unfortunately, and just like with any other appliance, air conditioner systems can develop issues over time. Changes in the weather, constant use, or lack of maintenance can all cause malfunctions. One of the most common issues is leaking or dripping water. But why is your AC unit leaking, and how can you fix it?

Where is the Leaking Water Coming From?

Air conditioners come with outdoor and indoor units. Both play different roles, but they work together to help maintain your desired indoor air temperature. Usually, your indoor unit will come with an evaporator coil that is responsible for cooling the warm air that passes over it.

When hot air passes over this evaporator coil, the air begins condensing, forming tiny water droplets. This system is in place to prevent the water from pooling up.

The gathered moisture will to drip down to a drain pan that connects to a condensate drain pipe. That pipe should allow the condensation to flow away from your system, preventing any damage to your air conditioning unit, as well as preventing water from puddling.

However, this mechanism may fail, leaking water into the room from your air conditioning unit. But don’t worry—there is no need to panic just yet. There are several ways to check for the cause of this issue, and appropriate solutions are also available.

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What are the Common Causes of a Leaking Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner unit is leaking water, the appliance might fail to work correctly. It’s essential then to understand what is causing the issue and come up with an appropriate solution so you don’t have to live without cool air.

Here you will find the main reasons why your air conditioner is leaking water and what you can do to get your AC system back to health.

Reason 1: Not Enough Refrigerant

  • One of the most common causes of dripping water from your air conditioner unit is a lack of refrigerant (in many cases, a refrigerant leak). When evaporator coils try to convert the liquid into vapor, but you have little or no refrigerant in your AC unit, the air will not come out as cold as it should.


The Solution: Since having no refrigerant means the coils have no power to do their job, the solution to this problem is to add more refrigerant liquid. However, you shouldn’t try to do this on your own. An AC technician like at Hawthornephc can do it for you and check for other problems causing a leak.

Reason 2: A Dirty Air Filter

  • Another common reason for your air conditioner leaking water can be your air filter accumulating a lot of dirt – which can keep it from working correctly.
  • If the air conditioners’ filters are clogged or not clean, you can also end up with a frozen coil (which drips when it heats up) and a damaged AC unit.


The Solution: Start by cleaning your filters. You should make sure they dry properly because you install them back on your AC unit. During the peak season, you should clean your filters every two weeks and, ideally, replace them every 3 or 4 months.

Reason 3: A Clogged Condensate Drain Line

  • When your air conditioner unit dehumidifies air, it also collects moisture. This moisture usually contains debris and dirt, which can accumulate over time and lead to your AC leaking water.


The Solution: Shut down your unit and empty the drain pan. Locate the drain line and scrub it, removing any gunk. You might require a special pump or vacuum. You can ask an HVAC technician to do this for you.

Reason 4: A Disconnected Drain Line

  • Your drain line might not be appropriately attached, which can easily result in your air conditioner leaking water. This can happen after a repair if the unit was not installed correctly or just due to time passing.


The Solution: Contact an HVAC professional to reconnect the line. Hawthornephc has a number of trained and professional technicians who are backed by a 100% workmanship guarantee.

Reason 5: A Rusted Drain Pan

  • A rusted or damaged air pan can also be to blame for your air conditioner’s water leaking. The drain pan is located under the AC’s evaporator coil and allows water to travel into the drain line. If it’s rusted, this path can become obstructed. A clogged drain line is quite a common issue with older AC units.


The Solution: You will need to clean the drain line, find the cracks, and seal them using a water-resistant sealant. It’s best practice to let an HVAC technician like at Hawthornephc do it, as our professional technicians will guide you if your drain pan needs to be replaced.

Reason 6: A Broken Condensate Pump

  • Lastly, a common issue causing AC water leaking can be a broken float switch or condensate pump. When the water in the AC’s reservoir rises, the float switch turns on and triggers a drain outside your home. If either is malfunctioning, you can easily end up with your air conditioner leaking water.


The Solution: You cannot fix a broken condensate pump alone. Contact a professional to assess the damage and repair or replace the part.

So, we return to the initial query: why is your AC unit leaking water?

As we’ve explored, the causes can range from simple maintenance issues like a dirty air filter or a clogged condensate drain to more complex problems such as refrigerant shortages or malfunctioning condensate pumps.

Whether it’s a DIY fix or a job for professionals like those at Hawthornephc, addressing your leaking AC promptly will ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently and safely.

Don’t let a small leak turn into a big problem—take the steps needed to safeguard your cool, comfortable home today.

Our Services

Hawthorne PHC is a leading plumbing, AC, and water filtration company. If you are looking for a quick and efficient solution to your AC unit leaking water, they can help. Call (844) 236-0190 to arrange a free quote with a qualified AC professional.

Don’t let the summer heat get you down – check out our list of air conditioner related articles for more information on staying cool!

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